“After the decision of the Government of India to make proper arrangements for the celebrations of the Urs and the satisfactory announcement by Pandit Nehru to give every protection to the Durgah Khwaja Saheb and to maintain its traditions and customs, it is not proper to celebrate the Urs at any place other than – Ajmer. I specially request those who are arranging the Urs in Pakistan to come to Ajmer and to participate in the celebrations there.” This was the statement made by Shah Hayat Ahmed Saheb of Rudauli Sharif, President of Ajmer Dargah Committee on 12 May 1948.
The backdrop of the statement was a propaganda being made by newly created Pakistan that India had become a ‘Hindu’ nation, therefore its government would not allow Urs celebration at Ajmer. This was going to be the first Urs since the partition of India.
The propaganda took a beating when, on 11 May 1948, when Urs celebrations commenced, Prime Minister Nehru had sent the following message to the Managing Committee of the Dargah;
“It is a matter of satisfaction to the Government of India and myself that the famous Urs of Durgah Khwaja Sahib is being celebrated in Ajmer as usual. I would have greatly liked to be present at the Urs, but my preoccupations here prevent me from doing so. I send my greetings and good wishes to the pilgrims gathered for the Urs, and trust that the celebrations will be successful in every way. It is the particular desire of the Government of India to give every protection to the Durgah Khawaja Sahib and to maintain its traditions and customs.”
Vinoba Bhave in Ajmer
It was not only the government which was working towards creating an atmosphere of harmony during the Urs. Famous social activist Vinoba Bhave himself stayed at the Dargah of Ajmer during the Urs in 1948. He addressed Hindus and Muslims several times between the 11 and 16 May at Ajmer. It is believed that in an atmosphere when India was still recovering from deadly partition riots, at least 10,000 Hindus and Muslims visited the Dargah for Urs.
Mutawalli of the Dargah, Syed Asrar Ahmed, on behalf of all the members of the Dargah Committee thanked the government and the Prime Minister on 18 May 1948 for the peaceful commencement of the Urs.
Mutawalli of the Dargah wrote in a telegram sent to the Prime Minister, “Urs Shareef ended today with utmost peace and all ceremonies were performed completely. Thank your Government for good arrangements and for your personal keen interest in the celebration of Urs Shareef.”